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valentine's day dessert date...

  • t
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...where to go, where to go, in baltimore?

and don't tell me vaccaro's! i'm trying, and failing, to think of some place a little different for dessert and maybe a nice tawny port. doesn't necessarily have to be upscale, romantic would be a plus!

thanks in advance...

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  1. Trixie -

    How about the little cafe in Federal Hill on the north side of Cross Steet market. I think it's called Spoons. Great desserts and good coffee, and a very comfortable, though not necessarily romantic, ambience.
    BTW, did you make it to Pazza Luna over the weekend? How was it?

    1 Reply
    1. re: louis

      after i'd thought about it awhile it occured that maybe all that garlic at pazza luna is a bad idea for a date! no, not really -- just decided to go with soigne, which was fabulous and turned out to be just the right choice. we didn't feel rushed, even though the place was packed -- they're managing the table flow very well it seems.

    2. Too bad Louie's is gone. Anyway, I've had nice dessert-and-drink times at the bar at Spike & Charlie's, and it's a good setting if your already dressed up from dinner. Which is my real question here: What time were you planning to do this? Because the thing is, Valentine's Day is traditionally a very busy night at restaurants, and if your planning on doing this during the dinner hour--say, 8 or so--you may get kind of crowded out of actual restaurants, and a cafe might be better, somewhere like Spoons or one of the One Worlds (I think the one by Hopkins Homewood is the nicest-looking), where you can get a nice coffee drink with liqueur and a yummy dessert. Or sit at the bar at a restaurant like S&C's or Sotto Sopra. Or try out that new place, Soigne, that everyone's been to except me (sniffle!) and is raving about. But again, it would be best to hit a place like Soigne well after the dinner rush, because nowhere's very romantic when its packed to the gills with people.

      4 Replies
      1. re: peckish

        yeah, i'm definitely thinking late, post-dinner rush, probably 9:30 or so. and i am trying to think of some place *nice*, ideally with a port and dessert wine list.

        1. re: trix

          Baltimore must be one of the few places on earth where "9:30 or so" constitutes the "post-dinner rush."
          I'm a late night eater, and one of my biggest frustrations in this city is that restaurants shut their doors so early. One Saturday night this summer I was with friends in Federal Hill at 9:45 p.m., and we couldn't find a place that would serve us -- and this includes places like Vespa's, Blue Agave and Cork's. On a SATURDAY night, no less!
          Oh, I can always go to the old standby - Sabatino's - that remains open, even on weeknights, until at least 2 a.m. And the Paper Moon is okay on occasion, but that grows old after a while. As does diner food in general.
          Any tips from chowhound land regarding good late-night eateries in this early-to-bed city?

          1. re: louis

            hey louis -- i have the same problem! when i moved back to baltimore from manhattan, i routinely showed up at restaurants at 10 pm expecting to be fed only to be turned away! there really is very little in terms of late night dining in town, and i loathe both sabatino's and the paper moon. if you dig korean, both nam kang and u-jung are open til at least 2 am. gecko's in canton will serve their so-so southwestern food until closing time. let me know if you find any other options, i'm all ears!

            1. re: trix

              Trixie -

              Just found another (relatively)late night place to eat - the new Red Maple just north of the Brass Elephant on Charles Street. It serves food until midnight on week nights.
              This spot is more Manhattan than Baltimore--or, perhaps I should say, somewhere in between. Pretty tony, and more of a club/bar than a restaurant. But it does have interesting and decent food, which it calls Asian tapas. What that means is no real entrees, just little appetizer-like dishes with an Asian/fusion bent. They like to serve several of these tapas dishes on one very large plate. Everything I had was very good. I didn't sample the desserts, but they sounded interesting.
              One major caveat: If you arrive after 9:30 from Thursday night through the weekend--sans a reservation--they sock you with a $9 cover charge. They waive this if you say you've never been there before. Otherwise, I guess, it makes sense to have a reservation.
              If you're there just for the food, it might not be the best bet. There's constant disco music, and the tables are really bar tables, not intended for a meal. But it's definitely got a nice rhythm, and if you don't mind eating a meal of good appetizers, it's worth a try. (It's also a bit stylish for Baltimore). I'm heading up to Manhattan tomorrow, and I'm sure Red Maple will seem quite Cafe Hon by comparison. But this place seems like a nice addition to the Baltimore scene.

      2. Highly reccommend Pisces. Especially if you like creme brulee. It's at the top floor of the Hyatt and it's floor to ceiling glass. So you get a gorgeous view of the inner harbor. Plus, the food is very good.